MEXICO CITY.- On Wednesday April 14th 2010 the archaeologist Enrique Nalda Hernandez died as consequence of lung cancer. In spite of his illness, he continued working on his research projects at southern Quintana Roo, where he arrived in 1987, to investigate Maya collapse.
Knowledge of Prehispanic history of southern Quintana Roo and the rest of the Maya zone owes much to Enrique Nalda. Among his work stand out El Colapso y el Nuevo Orden Politico de las Tierras Bajas Mayas. Los Ultimos Reinos Mayas, 1998 (Collapse and New Political Order in Maya Lowlands. Last Maya Kingdoms); La secuencia de ocupacion de Kohunlich. Los Investigadores de la Cultura Maya, 2002, (Kohunlich Occupation Secquence. The researchers of Maya Culture) and Los Cautivos de Dzibanche, 2004, (Captives of Dzibanche).
Last projects headed by the doctor in Anthropology were investigations at Ichkabal, as well as Dzibanche and Kohunlich, projects that have been under research since the 1970s decade.
The specialist from the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) achieved important findings, which allowed awareness of the enormous complexity of the 3 zones, with political and economic level similar to sites like Calakmul, in Campeche, and Tikal, in Guatemala.
Enrique Nalda left an important legacy at the Institute: he was technical secretary (1992-1997); national coordinator of INAH Centers (1985-1986), and chief of the Public Register Department for Archaeological Monuments and Zones (1883-1984), where he set the bases of the National Archaeological Atlas in cooperation with Javier Lopez Camacho.
At the same department, he implemented the bases of the Unique Registration Card for Archaeological Sites, system that allowed advance in the process of documenting every Prehispanic settlement, as well as gathering of information regarding conservation state, scheme that is still in use with some variants.
As academic at the National School of Anthropology and History (ENAH) he improved curricular contents of Archaeology subjects linked to fieldwork, to connect them with defined research projects. He negotiated the creation of the Archaeological Investigations Department at ENAH, which he directed from 1981 to 1982.
Enrique Nalda was born in Logroño, Spain, in 1936 to a family that migrated to Mexico as a result of the Civil War. He obtained Mexican nationality at the age of 10, and began working in archaeology after graduating as an engineer. At the time of his departure, he performed also as researcher professor at the INAH Direction of Archaeological Studies.